My two Axiom 61's are impersonating each other

I have two Axiom 61 1st gen keyboards. The show up in Midi ports as in: USB Axiom 61 and in: USB Axiom 61 #2. Physically #2 is my lower keyboard.

I set them up as Axiom Upper and Axiom Lower. For months this was perfectly stable. The past week they have been swapped when I relaunch Cantabile. I can fix if I delete the Input ports and re-add them.

In the routing section they both appear normal but when you play they are reversed.

Here are some observations:

  1. I replaced the USB cable for “Axiom upper” - it’s fit was getting loose for some reason so that keyboard was losing connection
  2. I recently setup so the song,rack, set list and background rack files are in DropBox. I’m haven’t been using the backup laptop but have tested it - everything was fine.
  3. I just recently started using racks and states (finally)
  4. I tested manually putting the laptop to sleep with Cantabile running a few months ago and since it didn’t appear to cause an issue I do that a few times a week. When I play live I reboot.
  5. I haven’t changed anything physically regarding USB other than replacing the cable as mentioned above

Not an urgent problem, work around just takes a few seconds but would like to get to bottom of this in case underlying cause does something worse.

Hi @dsteinschneider

This is a symptom (possible bug) of the MIDI driver for the device and there’s not much Cantabile can do about it - except make it easy to swap them around when you need to. Usually it’s the result of pluggin/unplugging one or more devices.


These are the kinds of shenanigans I used to have with controllers (M-Audio as it happens) and USB. I could never guarantee that when I got to a gig that all my controllers wouldn’t swap with each other. That’s when I quit using USB and started running all my controllers in via MIDI on discrete channels. Problem solved.


Yes, same here - I run all my controllers via classic MIDI cables into an iConnect MIDI interface.



Thanks for all the answers. Switching to MIDI would be easy. Since I’m doing a poor man’s B3 with just two keyboards it’s pretty easy to live with. The funny thing is all the pro USB MIDI users have said just don’t change anything physically with the USB and you should be fine. Maybe the loose cable was the root cause of the issue.

If you are going to have multiple devices plugged into USB, you must be absolutely obsessive about plugging them in. Colo(u)red tape, labels, different cables, etc. I use a powered USB hub and never ever ever unplug the really high-end cables. I wrap them around the hub for travel. Color-coded ends go into various devices. Since I started this I’ve had zero problems. BTW, you can go into Windows device manager and delete all the MIDI devices to reset them. On some versions of Windows, you have to use regedit to delete them, but that is not for the faint of heart.

I was obsessive about how I plugged things in and ti STILL happened.

It’s interesting to read all these reports and warnings about problematic USB connections. My two keyboards and my Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 are all connected to my Cantabile laptop using a USB hub, and I have not encountered any problems so far. I do always use the same ports for each device, but that’s just for convenience’s sake (each device has its own cable with a specific length, so I just keep them all connected to the USB hub and pack the whole spider’s web into a gig bag when I’m travelling). I’ll knock the wood on the side of my Nord Stage just in case…

The first time it happened I was practicing AWSOP (I’ve added the left hand chords) and it sounded ALL wrong.

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I never used a hub… apparently that makes a lot of difference! I suppose from Windows’ point of view that sums everything down to a single port that it can’t screw up? Or do the ports on the hub still all appear as discrete ports to the OS? Either way, I’m sticking with my MIDI merger :smiley:

BW, I would think the fix with just two controllers would be pretty simple- just swap the cables to them. :stuck_out_tongue: When it happened to me I had four controllers of different sizes, varying cable lengths to get to them and it was hard to tell which was which. But two… ought to be pretty basic…

I’ve said this before…Using a powered hub makes all the difference in this. In my “normal” setup, I have 2-keyboard controllers, 1-footboard controller, 1-usb mouse, and 1-audio interface. There are 3 usb ports in my main laptop. I plug my interface and main keyboard directly into into laptop ports…same ones every time. I plug my 7-port usb hub into the last laptop port. Everything else goes into the powered hub. The order of placement in the hub makes no difference. A powered hub supplies the necessary power needed by the devices, thus reducing the power used from the usb ports, and there is small limit on what the laptop ports can allocate. I do have some older rehearsal keyboards with no usb ports. I use midi cable to audio interface for those. Fortunately, I do not have 2 identical key controllers, but I can certainly understand where that could cause a problem.

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Exactly - this particular scenario is pretty easy to live with. The keyboards and the cables are identical and easy to get at to swap in the heat of action

Pro USB people please prepare for heresy…

The square USB “A” female ports weren’t designed for gigging musicians.

I just “fixed” the loose one on my Axiom. The two metal tabs inside the connector (on the sides) are tired, there’s not much spring left to hold the USB A male end as secure I would like. I dabbed a little epoxy behind the tabs with a tiny screw driver so they stay in place.

The 5 pin DIN connectors definitely can handle more use cycles

There are so many other discussions on other sites about all this. I’ve not had a problem with connectors yet. Doesn’t mean I won’t. I don’t have an Axiom either. I also read that 5-pin introduces more latency. Doesn’t mean it’s true tho. All I know is from my personal experience, both usb and 5-pin work fine. I have plugged in/out usb 100s of times, with only occasionally having a bad cable, I gig several times a week, and I am satisfied with my usb rig. My audio interface is usb as well. Again, all I attest to is my personal experience, and most keyboard manufacturers have been using usb on their products for many years. I would think if it were a major problem, they would have discontinued use of usb. Thanks for the info on how fix it should I need to. :grinning:



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I’m sticking with all USB myself, just noticing the DIN connector seems less prone to becoming loose. I bought the Axiom used - who knows what it’s been through.

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I have a MIDI cable I’ve owned since possibly 1986 or something. The copper shielding wrap is exposed on both ends. It’s the jankiest looking thing ever but it still works. It’s my lucky cable- I keep using it just to see how long it goes.

That belongs on the old gear thread you suggested. :rofl::rofl::rofl:


I’m back to report the Axiom 61’s stopped swapping (at the USB level in Windows) when I close Cantabile before putting the laptop into sleep mode. Yeah - leaving C3 running and going into sleep mode is as bad an idea as it sounds :smiley: